The Benefits of Pet Health Insurance

on 27 October 2015

Pet insurance is becoming more and more popular in Australia as the benefits of covering pets against illnesses and accidents are recognised.

Pet insurance offers you peace of mind. If your pet is involved in an accident or suffers a sudden illness the medical costs can be several hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Unfortunately, many pets are euthanased each year as owners are unable to meet these unexpected costs. There are no government subsidies or Medicare payments to help pay for treatments of animals, like there is for us when we get sick or need to go to hospital. Pet Insurance is your safeguard against this outcome.

There are several companies that offer pet insurance and with the emergence of new schemes, your veterinarian can help you find one that relates to your pets and your requirements.

What does pet insurance cover?

Individual schemes vary in the type of procedures covered. For example, exclusions often include pregnancy, elective procedures, behavioural therapy, and diets, but accidents and illnesses are covered. Therefore, if your dog breaks a leg, or your cat develops kidney failure, a large percentage of costs will be reimbursed.

Some policies have an excess and an annual limit you can claim. You cannot always claim for pre-existing illnesses, and most have an age limit for the pet for new policies. This means your pet cannot be older than about 8-12 years to start a policy, depending on the company.

How much does it cost?

Costs vary on the type of cover you choose, just like for our own medical insurance. There are usually discounts available for multiple pets.

Some breeds may attract higher premiums due to their known predisposition to inherited and other problems, such as the Shar-Pei, German Shepherd, and Great Dane.

Some companies give a rebate if you spend a certain amount per year on preventative health, including worming and flea control, and some will pay a small amount to cover these routine costs.

How does it work?

Your pet is treated by your chosen veterinarian or specialist, and having paid your account to your veterinarian, you submit a claim to the insurance company, who will reimburse you, usually 70-80% of the total. There will be exclusions and sublimits depending on the individual policy.

PROSURE Pet Insurance

One of the latest Pet Health Insurance covers is PROSURE Pet Insurance. Choose from basic Accidental Injury cover, Accidental Injury + Illness cover or Accidental Injury + Illness + Wellness Cover.

The key benefits of PROSURE Pet Insurance inlude:

  • Up to 80% of the eligible treatment costs refunded
  • Prompt payment once your claim is received
  • Designed and supported by vets who care for pets
  • Use any registered vet Australia wide including specialists and emergency centres
  • Platinum Cover Wellness Care Rewards assist towards vaccinations, de-sexing and a whole lot more

Other Pet Insurance options include:

How do I decide if I need insurance and which company to use?

Taking out insurance is a personal decision. It is recommended as there are always unforeseen costs inherent in owning pets, and it means that you can choose the best care for your pet if a problem does arise.

As veterinary science advances, the options available for treatment become wider. Therapies once only available for humans are now used for pets; for example, kidney transplants, chemotherapy, and advanced surgical techniques. However, just as with all other forms of insurance, you may never or rarely need to use it, and you may decide that the cost of owning a policy cannot be justified in your own case. You will need to compare some different policies to find the one that is most appropriate to your own personal objectives, financial position and needs. Your veterinarian can help select a reputable company that will suit you.

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